Rescuing an animal is a great thing, and can be an emotional experience. Shelter pets have often had rough pasts, either from being on their own as strays or abuse from former owners, and you’re there to give them a new start.
After one man adopted a rescue dog, he made a noble symbolic gesture to bond with his pet… until his friends realized something he didn’t.
It’s a story that shows that some people will do anything for their pet, even if it’s a bad idea.
Chris Mendiola, from Texas, adopted a dog named Bear in 2010. The dog had been through many families before finding the right one with Chris.
“[Bear] bounced from home to home before he came to my family,” Chris told BuzzFeed News.
Chris says that he and bear hit it off and connected: “He’s such a gentle giant — we clicked right away,” he told People. “I honestly couldn’t ask for a better dog. Even though he looks scary and mean, he’s a playful soul who’s really a softie.”
While the dog had finally found a forever home, Chris noticed Bear still had a mark from a previous owner: someone had apparently given him a tattoo.
Chris was shocked anyone would do this to a dog. “I just thought, wow, that kind of sucks,” he said.
So in 2017, Chris decided to show his solidarity with his canine companion: he got the same tattoo on his upper arm.
“I don’t like it when people tattoo their pets, and Bear is my best friend,” Chris said. “I decided that I wanted to have the same scar.”
But after he posted the photos online, friends quickly pointed out that that tattoo wasn’t given to the dog by a heartless owner, but, presumably, by a veterinarian.
The tattoo meant he was neutered.
A small tattoo near the surgery site is a common way to indicate that a cat or dog has been spayed/neutered. Since the scars heal and some pets get passed around to different owners, the marker is a way to let future vets know they’ve been fixed.
In other words, it’s not a tattoo most human males would want permanently on their arm. It didn’t take long for Chris to start getting roasted over his decision.
A high school classmate shared the screenshots on Reddit, and soon the whole internet was having a laugh about Chris and his shortsighted tattoo decision.
“Would love to see a video of that guys reaction when he found out that he got a tattoo of the symbol for neutered,” one comment says.
“It’s literally the symbol for ‘male’ with the balls crossed out,” another points out.
I hope the artist knew and laughed their ass off after. https://t.co/JHi3NgMlX1
— Texan Gooner (@arsearsebaby) September 26, 2017
But Chris says that everyone got the story wrong—and insists that he actually did know what the tattoo meant all along, and just wanted to get it anyway.
“We talked to our vet about the tattoo. I knew what it meant,” he told Buzzfeed.
Which is… not very likely. The guy made it clear he thought this was “a tattoo given to him from some previous owners,” with no indication that it was a medical symbol. But, whatever makes him feel good about it.
“I’m not ashamed of it at all,” he told Inside Edition. “It’s for me and him. It’s really for me and my dog. It was for nobody else.”
“I look down and see this tattoo and I’m like, ‘I’m carrying my dog with me.’ I can literally go anywhere and have a piece of him with me.”
He added that he might add to it in the future: “Once it heals, I’d like to get his paw print blended in with it.”
“A lot of people are saying ‘I’d do anything for my pet,’ but would you?” he told Buzzfeed. “Would you get a neutered sign tattooed on your bicep?”
It’s a funny story, and it’s good to know Chris has such a positive attitude about the whole thing and is proud of his much-mocked tattoo. However, he’s very clear that it’s strictly symbolic, just in case any ladies were concerned:
“Let’s put it this way,” he told People, “The tattoo on me doesn’t mean the same thing that it does for my dog.”
The things we do for our pets… Share this funny story!